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Antiwar Protests of the 1960’s and 1970’s

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Presentation on theme: "Antiwar Protests of the 1960’s and 1970’s"— Presentation transcript:

1 Antiwar Protests of the 1960’s and 1970’s
Over the course of this power point we’ll learn about the main protests of the Vietnam War era and how they effected public opinion.

2 The Vietnam War 1954-1973 War of containment
North Vietnam (Communist) vs. South Vietnam (Pro- West) Allies of North: U.S.S.R., People’s Republic of China Allies of South: U.S., South Korea North wanted to reunify with the South after the country was split in two at the 1954 Geneva Conference 1960- “Viet Cong” (North) invaded Southern Vietnam and the war began The Vietnam War was entered to try and curb the spread of communism. The First Indochina war got the French out of the country, but the Second Indochina war was a conflict between North and South Vietnam.

3 The Viet Cong & the Ho Chi Minh Trail

4 The Vietnam War 1964- Gulf of Tonkin- North Vietnam accused of attacking U.S. destroyers Led to a large increase in U.S. involvement Gulf of Tonkin Resolution- the President has the right to “prevent further aggression” from the North Vietnamese The number of troops sent to Vietnam skyrocketed (500,000) U.S. made very few gains American troops fought a conventional war, while the Vietnamese were fighting an ideological war U.S. tried to achieve their goals with as few American deaths as possible Vietnamese didn’t care how many people had to die for their cause Brutal warfare with many casualties on both sides

5 Gulf of Tonkin Incident
(August 4, 1964) Did North Vietnam really attack the U.S.?

6 The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave unprecedented power to President Johnson to use combat troops in Vietnam House vote: 416-0 2 Senators opposed

7 The Vietnam War 1968- Tet Offensive- North Vietnam attacked U.S. and pushed them back (U.S. eventually regained the territory) Portrayed as a huge loss by American media

8 Tet Offensive, 1968 Ultimate U.S. victory
Devastating PR nightmare as TV brought home reality of war (it was not almost over)

9 The Vietnam War 1968 My Lai Massacre- A Vietnamese town suspected of harboring enemies was brutally murdered by U.S. soldiers

10 The Vietnam War 1968 Nixon took office- promised to get America out of the war Vietnamization- Bring U.S. troops home and leave the majority of the fighting to the Vietnamese

11 Polling of America: Why should we stay in Vietnam (1968)
Pentagon Papers 1971- Pentagon Papers leaked to the press and revealed in a New York Times article The Pentagon Papers showed LBJ had systematically covered up the truth about Vietnam Polling of America: Why should we stay in Vietnam (1968) Public outraged when Pentagon Papers came out, only added fuel to the protestor’s fire Ceasefire was not the end of the war between North and South Vietnam, eventually North won 70% - To avoid a humiliating U.S. defeat. 20% - To keep South Vietnam (and the adjacent) territory from Chinese hands. 10% - To permit the people of South Vietnam to enjoy a better, freer way of life.

12 Vietnam Conflict Timeline
1954—Geneva Convention creates North Vietnam (communist) and South Vietnam (democratic) 1954—U.S. commits aid to support South Vietnamese government 1960—North Vietnam “invades” South Vietnam to unify nation 1963—U.S. commits military advisers to assist South Vietnam 1964—Gulf of Tonkin Resolution allowed conventional forces to defend South Vietnam (Americans to fight in combat) —Zenith of “Americanization” with over 500,000 soldiers in combat 1969—Nixon elected, promises “Vietnamization” 1969—Nixon begins secret bombing of Cambodia 1971—Pentagon Papers released, exposing secret escalation of war 1973—War Powers Resolution passed by Congress 1973—last American troops leave Vietnam 1975—Congress de-funds war and North Vietnam invades and conquers South Vietnam

13 Results 3 million Vietnamese died 58,000 Americans died
$150 million spent on the war Underfunding for Great Society programs

14 The New Left Radical political movement of the 1960’s and 70’s
Mostly comprised of college students (SDS) Social activists Beliefs Anti- Draft Pro- Civil Rights Anti- Traditional values (family, complacency) Rebelled with sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll Anti- Establishment Rejected society by supporting democratic communism and fascination with Native Americans and Eastern religions The New Left was the group that would eventually challenge the government about its actions in Vietnam through protests

15 The New Left’s Leaders Bill Ayers Stokely Carmichael
Civil Rights “sit-ins” Member of SDS Founded Weather Underground Bombed numerous blds and monuments Professor at U of Chicago (Education) Stokely Carmichael Freedom Rider Howard grad SNCC “Prime Minister” of Black Panthers (left because of white BP) Self-imposed exile Tom Hayden Freedom Rider Founded SDS Wrote Port Huron Statement CA politician Animal rights advocate Abbie Hoffman Founded “Yippies” Berkeley grad Organizer Woodstock incident Chicago Eight “the state of mind of my brothers and sisters” Preached against the CIA Jerry Rubin Anti-Vietnam Organizer (March on Pentagon) Dropped out of Berkeley Chicago Eight Early investor in Apple Angela Davis Leader of Communist party USA Close ties to Black Panthers Moved to feminism Professor at UC-Santa Cruz

16 The Protests

17 The First D.C. Rally April 17, 1965
One month after the U.S. sent its first troops to Vietnam Staged by the Leftist group, Students for a Democratic Society 16,000 people picketed outside the White House “No More War” “We Want Peace Now” Only 4 arrests made The first inkling that the American public would not sit idly by while the government drained resources into Vietnam

18 March on the Pentagon October 21, 1967
Culmination of 5 days of protests organized by the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam Famous speakers came to address the crowd (Robert Lowell, Benjamin Spock) The protest escalated when the leaders of the Youth International Party announced they were going to “exorcise” the Pentagon People surrounded the building and chanted spells to try and drive out the “evil war spirits” Tear gas was released into the crowd 2,500 troops guarded the Pentagon 681 arrested Chaotic protest became even more frenzied when troops began releasing tear gas into the crowd

19 March on the Pentagon (cont.)
Some pictures from the protest Protestors facing down Army troops (on right)

20 The Moratorium Rally (D.C.)
November 15, 1969 America’s biggest anti- war demonstration ever 250, ,000 protestors present A little less wild LBJ was out of office and Nixon had initiated his “Vietnamization” plan Police had learned how to handle protests 3,000 Police 9,000 Army troops 200 Lawyers 75 Clergymen Protest was peaceful for the most part 135 arrests made

21 The Moratorium Rally (cont.)
The Moratorium Rally was the largest anti-war protest in U.S. history

22 Kent State In response to Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia
Didn’t want to be drafted New Left thought the war was waning (i.e. Nixon lied to them) May 1, Day One Huge demonstration on the College’s commons Around midnight rowdy bikers began throwing bottles and vandalizing cars in the street Approximately 100 students joined in Police eventually got the situation under control

23 Kent State (cont.) May 2, 1970- Day Two May 3, 1970- Day Three
State of Emergency declared in Kent Ohio Governor, James A. Rhodes, called in the National Guard Demonstrations continued on campus Reserve Officer Training Corps building was set on fire Fire men and police were pelted with rocks by the surrounding crowd 10:00 p.m.- National Guard set up camp on Kent State’s campus Used tear gas and arrested the protestors At least one person was bayoneted May 3, Day Three More protests Curfew imposed on students

24 Kent State (cont.) The National Guard was sent in to maintain order on Kent State’s campus

25 Kent State (cont.) May 4, 1970- Day Four Pre-planned rally commenced
Approx. 2,000 people present National Guard told them to disperse People refused Troops sprayed the crowd with tear gas Crowd began throwing rocks and chased the National Guard off campus “Pigs off Campus!” After being chased up a hill by the angry protestors, the National Guard opened fire on the crowd Firing lasted 13 seconds 4 dead 9 wounded Huge public outcry against the government---allowed children to be slaughtered

26 The National Guard was chased up a hill by angry students
Kent State (cont.) The National Guard was chased up a hill by angry students

27 A shocked student grieves over a dead body, shot down by the National Guard

28 Fourth D.C. Rally In response to Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia and the Kent State shootings Goal: Close down Washington D.C. on May 3, 1971 Shut off all access routes to the city The protestors would come in waves so if one wave got arrested the next would be there to take its place March on the Pentagon, the Capitol, and the Justice Department Two weeks before May Day, 1971 Over 200,000 people attended peaceful rallies in D.C. As May 3 approached many left, leaving only the die- hard radicals (organized by the People’s Coalition for Peace and Justice)

29 The Fourth D.C. Rally (cont.)
Once again, angry crowds not afraid to face down armed troops

30 The Fourth D.C. Rally (cont.)
As May 3 approached, the Police prepared to arrest huge numbers of people Fill- in- the- blank arrest forms (to arrest people faster) Polaroid cameras would be used to take pictures of perpetrators so the Policeman could remember him later in court New “flexi- cuffs” with officer’s badge number already on them “Arrest teams” created to streamline the arresting process Arresting officer Handcuffing officer Transporting officer

31 The Fourth D.C. Rally (cont.)
May 2, 1971 Police announced over a loudspeaker that the 30,000 protestors camping out in West Potomac Park must vacate Reason: “violation of their permit” (use of drugs) Only 12,000 people remained after the announcement May 3, 1971 Police used tear gas to keep streets open 7,000 people arrested- the record to date 155 injuries Protestors plan was thwarted and D.C. stayed open

32 Were these protests effective in swaying public opinion?
Did they make people think differently about the Vietnam War?

33 Vietnam: Divided the nation (generational gap)
--Silent Majority vs. Radical Left Created the New Left --merged militant Civil Rights with anti-war/establishment protesters In this picture the “Silent Majority For Peace” banner is particularly significant. At the beginning of Nixon’s term the majority of America (the Silent Majority) were for war in Vietnam. However, as you can see in this picture, their opinions changed. Those who take the pro-side of this argument would say it was because of the protests that this change of opinion occurred.

34 February 1968: 42 March 1968: 41 April 1968: 40 August 1968: 35
In view of developments since we entered the fighting in Vietnam do you think the U.S. made a mistake sending troops to fight in Vietnam?" (Gallup) DATEPERCENT Percent that said NO February 1968: 42 March 1968: 41 April 1968: 40 August 1968: 35 October 1968: 37 February 1969: 39 October 1969: 32 January 1970: 33 April 1970: 34 May 1970: 36 January 1971: 31 May 1971: 28 August 1965: 61 March 1966: 59 May 1966: 49 September 1966: 48 November 1966: 51 February 1967: 52 May 1967: 50 July 1967: 48 October 1967: 44 December 1967: 46 As the years went on and protests became more and more frequent, fewer and fewer people supported the war in Vietnam, as shown in these numbers.



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